Journo Hastings' Car Was Speeding Before Death: Cop
Conspiracy theories emerge
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2013 3:59 AM CDT
This undated photo provided by Blue Rider Press/Penguin shows award-winning journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings.   (AP Photo/Blue Rider Press/Penguin)

(Newser) – The car carrying journalist Michael Hastings—in which he was apparently the only person, the New York Times notes—was likely speeding before he died in a crash, says a former LAPD cop. The car's motor was found some 100 feet away from the vehicle, suggesting the driver was going at more than 60 miles per hour on the edge of Hollywood—or, as the former officer tells LA Weekly, he "was hauling Irish ass and lost control." The investigation continues: Police still haven't identified the victim, says an official, though Hastings' wife has confirmed he died in a car crash, the Times reports.

Meanwhile, the coroner is investigating the possibility of a drug or alcohol influence, a process that could take weeks. Hastings wrote about having a drinking and drug problem, including noting a drunk-driving crash at age 19, though he wrote last year that he'd been alcohol-free for 10 years. Meanwhile, the inevitable conspiracy theories are coming out: Hastings wrote in a 2012 book that an aide to Gen. Stanley McChrystal told him, "We'll hunt you down and kill you if we don't like what you write." WikiLeaks tweeted last night that Hastings had told the organization "the FBI was investigating him" shortly before he died. LA Weekly has more.

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Jun 21, 2013 4:43 PM CDT
Doesn't smell right.
Jun 21, 2013 8:55 AM CDT
That's unusual to hear that the engine was found 100 feet from the frame in a single car accident. If it does come loose the impact usually shoves the engine back into the driver's compartment. If it was a rear engined car that would make even more odd. It takes a huge amount of force to break loose an engine from the frame. The kind of force you find in a bomb.
Jun 20, 2013 7:35 PM CDT
Simple device to continuously accelerate vehicle while disabling brakes. Standard issue. Definitely killed.